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Saturday, September 15th
Armed Forces Appreciation-NEMA Night

Photos by
John DaDalt

NEMA’s Cicconi Reigns at Seekonk

By Dale Wolbrink

Seekonk, MA (September 15, 2007): “Liquid” Lou Cicconi of Aston, PA, has quickly become the man to beat in Northeastern Midget Association (NEMA) action at Seekonk Speedway in Seekonk, MA. The veteran open-wheeler posted his second consecutive Midget feature event win at the famed Cement Palace on Saturday night. Cicconi, who started fourth, took the lead on lap two then went on to hold off a hungry Adam Cantor on a pair of early race restarts before cruising to the victory.

“This is a great win for Tim and Gil Bertrand,” said Cicconi in victory lane. Gil's wife is battling health issues at home. We wish her a speedy recovery."

Adam Cantor of Dix Hills, NY, turned in a great performance to finish second. Ben Seitz of Pocasset, MA, made progress in his quest for an unprecedented fourth straight NEMA driving championship with his third-place finish. Greg Stoehr of E. Bridgewater, MA, and Joey Payne of Fairlawn, NJ, rounded out the top five.

A pair of young guns, Cory Cleary and John Zych, brought the field down to the green to start the 25-lapper for the mighty Midgets. Rookie Zych got the jump on the initial start to lead his first laps of NEMA feature competition. Before Zych could find his rhythm, Jeremy Frankoski spun in turn four to bring out the event’s first caution on lap one. By the time the caution had flown, Cicconi had already found his way into the second position.

On the restart, the outside groove was the place to be. Cicconi took command of the event on lap two from Zych. Cantor went high to take positions from Randy Cabral and Mike Horn; advancing to third. Cantor continued his march to the front with an outside move on Zych. Greg Stoehr came along for the ride moving Zych back to fourth.

The caution flew again on lap four when Paul Scally and B.J. MacDonald got together on the frontstretch. Scally was able to continue while MacDonald was forced to retire from the event. The restart pitted Cicconi against Cantor, Stoehr and Zych. M. Horn and Cabral completed the top five for the restart. Ben Seitz and Joey Payne lined up at the tail-end of the top-ten.

Cicconi retained his lead over Cantor and Stoehr while Seitz was quickly heading toward the front. The defending champ and current point leader advanced to the fifth position after the restart. By lap five, Seitz was fourth, a considerable distance behind the top three of Cicconi, Cantor and Stoehr.

Mike Keeler, making only his second start in NEMA during the 2007 season, spun on lap 10 to bring out the third caution. Little had changed on the leader board as Cicconi continued to lead Cantor, Stoehr, Seitz and M. Horn. Payne had advanced during the earlier green flag run as Cabral began to fade and Erica Santos had joined the top ten.

On the ensuing restart the best battle was for the third position between Stoehr and Seitz. Stoehr tried in vain to hold off the advances of Seitz. On lap 11, after a spirited side-by-side battle, Seitz went low to take the position.

At the halfway marker, the field had gotten strung out single file. Cicconi had stretched his lead over Cantor, who also enjoyed some breathing room back to Seitz in third. In the closing laps, Cicconi was mired in heavy traffic. Never missing a beat, the veteran was able to maintain his sizeable lead over Cantor.

In the end, Cicconi cruised to his third win of the 2007 season, bringing the Bertrand Motorsports team win tally on the season to four.

"I couldn't have been here without my crew, especially Nick Makrianis, and the Bertrand family,” continued Cicconi after the race. “We hurt the head in the heat race at All-Star (Speedway) last weekend, and they worked until late Friday night to put the car back together.”

By Seekonk Speedway calculations, Cicconi, who won by nearly a straightaway, recorded the fastest laps at the track this season, averaging 11.1 seconds at 107 MPH.

Cantor continues to have a solid season posting the runner-up finish. By virtue of his third-place finish, Seitz gained valuable points in his quest for history. Stoehr came from his tenth place starting to finish fourth over Joey Payne. Mike Horn had his best run since rejoining the club to finish sixth. Cicconi’s teammate Randy Cabral fought handling issues to salvage a seventh-place finish. John Zych Jr., Nokie Fornoro (running on three cylinders with a broken rocker) and Shane Hammond in the Cabral #36 completed the top ten.

Next up for the Northeastern Midget Association is the two-day Town Fair Tire Finale at the Waterford Speedbowl. Qualifying is slated for Saturday, September 22 with feature action getting underway on 1 PM on Sunday, September 23rd. For more information on the Finale weekend log on to
       Seekonk Speedway - Sat. Sept. 15th
Pos. # Driver Hometown Owner
1 47b Lou Ciconni Jr. Aston, PA Tim Bertrand
2 7ny Adam Cantor Dix Hills, NY Cantor Racing
3 17 Ben Seitz Pocasset, MA Pete Valeri
4 26b Greg Stoehr Bridgewater, MA Greg Stoehr
5 45 Joey Payne Fairlawn, NJ Gene Angellilo
6 P30 Mike Horn Ashland, MA Mike Horn
7 47 Randy Cabral Plymouth, MA Tim Bertrand
8 9 John Zych Jr. Mendon, MA John Zych
9 4 Nokie Fornoro Stroudsburg, PA Mike Jarret
10  36 Shane Hammond E. Bridgewater, MA Glen Cabral
11 44 Erica Santos Franklin, MA Ed Breault
12 A1 Jeff Horn Ashland, MA Jeff Horn
13 35 Cory Cleary Plymouth, MA Glen Cabral
14 8 Rich Gerbe Franklin Sq., NY Lee Gerbe
15 22 Chris Leonard Pelham, NH Dave Leonard
16 80 Pete Pernesiglio Lake Grove, NY Peter Pernesiglio
17 77 Jeff Zuidema - Mike Lugelle
18 33 Shawn Torrey Marshfield, MA Shawn Torrey
19 28l Paul Luggelle Holbrook, MA Paul Luggelle
20 78 Steve Powers N. Andover, MA Linda Cleveland
21  99 Jeremy Frankoski Newark Valley, NY Power Point
22 30 Paul Scally Raynham, MA Paul Scally
23 5 Mike Keeler Danbury, CT Larry Cheetham
24 49 B.J. MacDonald Dublin, PA B.J. MacDonald
29 Aaron Wall Shrewsbury, MA Bobby Seymour
52 Kevin Park Foxboro, MA Kevin Park

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